2014 NFL Mock Draft: v 1.0

The 2013 NFL Draft is not even a week old, and you can already see 2014 mocks pouring in across the internet. Why? Well, us draft nerds are burned out by discussing the same prospects, and welcome the opportunity to write about a new batch of players. This is a very preliminary 2014 NFL Mock Draft, mostly to familiarize myself with the upcoming prospects. Do not pay too much attention to the draft order (even though you will). The 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 will be based on my predictions, so then you can complain and curse at me for the draft order. 

Things can and will change greatly, of course, but right now this looks like a big time draft for fans of offense. I have five quarterbacks in my first round, and that is not even counting redshirt sophomores Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota or Brett Hundley, who could all be top picks in the 2015 draft.

I did not include any redshirt sophomores in this mock, so those aforementioned quarterbacks, and guys like Mike Evans will have to wait one more year.


1. Jacksonville Jaguars
QB Teddy Bridgewater, Jr, Louisville
6'3, 218 lbs
Hometown: Miami, FL
2012 Stats: 287-419, 3718 yards, 27 TD, 8 INT

Maybe the reason so many teams waited on quarterbacks this past draft is that the 2014 crop looks to be superior. The class is led by Teddy Bridgewater, who  is a classic, strong armed, drop back quarterback, though not much of a threat to run. He is a great leader and very smart with the football, only throwing more then one interception once last season. If Bridgewater improves on his very impressive sophomore season, he will learn from the recent mistakes of guys like Matt Barkley and strike while the iron is hot. The new Jacksonville regime is taking the rare long term rebuilding approach, and they did not add a quarterback early in the 2013 draft. They will be very bad again this year, but should be able to select their signal caller of the future here.


2. Oakland Raiders
DE Jadeveon Clowney, Jr, South Carolina
6'6, 256 lbs
Hometown: Rock Hill, SC
2012 Stats: 54 tackles, 13 sacks

The Raiders decided there was no impact player in the 2012 draft, and wisely traded down to add extra picks. It was rare forward thinking for a franchise that is in shambles because of short term roster development. They will be terrible again this year, but will add a high quality player in a much deeper draft. Clowney is an absolute beast, and would have been a top five pick had he been able to declare this year. The extra season will do him good, however. He still needs to put on strength and improve his run defense, but unless he gets hurt, he is a top two lock. Clowney is definitely in the mold of a Julius Peppers or Mario Williams, who happen to also both be products of Carolina schools, and would be a great fit in silver and black as he terrorizes opposing quarterbacks.


3. San Diego Chargers
OT Taylor Lewan, Sr, Michigan
6'8, 309 lbs
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

The Chargers drafted DJ Fluker in the first round, but he is a right tackle only player. San Diego also kicked the tires on Bryant McKinnie before he resigned with Baltimore. The offensive line is as huge of a problem as ever, and if the Chargers finish this bad, it will probably be because Philip Rivers continued to be pummeled into submission. Lewan is a good pass blocker with great size who has the frame to get stronger. He would hope to solidify a spot that has been troublesome for San Diego since Marcus McNeil was forced to retire.


4. New York Jets
WR Marqise Lee, Jr, Southern California
6'1, 195 lbs
Hometown: Inglewood, CA
2012 Stats: 118 receptions, 1721 yards, 14 TD

The Jets had so many holes going into the draft, there was no way they were going to be able to fill them all. New York failed to land an impact player on offense, not counting Geno Smith. This should be Santonio Holmes last season in New York, and Marqise Lee will be able to step in and become the man right away. Lee was so good as a sophomore he relegated Robert Woods to second option and caused him to fall to a second round pick. Lee has everything you look for in a number one receiver except height. He is fast, a great route runner and has very good hands. Trojan receivers do not have the best track record of success in the NFL, but Lee looks like the clear cut top wideout in this class right now and a top ten pick.


5. Carolina Panthers
OT Jake Matthews, Sr, Texas A&M
6'5, 305 lbs
Hometown: Missouri City, TX

The Panthers have needs in their secondary and at wide receiver, but there are no players at those positions worth taking here, 350 days before the draft. So they go with someone who can immediately step in at right tackle and move over to the left side once Jordan Gross moves on. Matthews has played on the right side across from the #2 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but returned for his senior year to show that he can handle Johnny Manziel's blind side. If he has as strong a senior season as he did his junior year, he should be a top ten pick. It's crazy how Texas A&M is the school who continues to churn out top NFL talent while the Longhorns are left in the dust.


6. Cleveland Browns
QB David Fales, Sr, San Jose State
6'3, 220 lbs
Hometown: Salinas, CA
2012 Stats: 327-451, 4193 yards, 33 TD, 9 INT

Like most bad teams, the quarterback needy Browns chose to bypass the options in the 2013 NFL Draft and focus on other positions. The quarterback class this year looks to be loaded, though things can and will change. David Fales quietly had a brilliant junior season for the Spartans. He has good size, a cannon arm and is in complete command of his offense. He is the type of quarterback that will appeal to new Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski. Scouts might worry about his level of competition, but we just saw a left tackle from the MAC go first overall. I do not think that will be a problem.


7. Buffalo Bills
OLB Anthony Barr, Sr, UCLA
6'4, 235 lbs
Hometown: San Pedro, CA
2012 Stats: 74 tackles, 13.5 sacks

Anthony Barr is a converted running back who made the conversion to linebacker last year and was fantastic. He would have been a first round pick but decided to return to Los Angeles to work on his overall game. He is the rare linebacker who would be an asset in any defensive scheme. He is a great pass rusher but is not a liability when he drops back into coverage. The Bills still can't decide what type of defense they want to run, so Barr's versatility would be even more appealing to them.


8. Philadelphia Eagles
QB Tajh Boyd, Sr, Clemson
6'1, 225 lbs
Hometown: Hampton, VA
2012 Stats: 287-427, 3896 yards, 36 TD, 13 INT

Chip Kelly has said he would tailor his offense to fit his quarterback, but I do not think he would pass up on Tajh Boyd here to continue to roll with mediocre options like Nick Foles and Matt Barkley. Boyd has worked very hard on his passing, leadership and decision making and has gone from a late round pick to a serious first round option. He has the arm and the legs to succeed in Kelly's offense, though we aren't quite sure what that offense will be in the NFL.


9. Arizona Cardinals
OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Jr, Alabama
6'6, 311 lbs
Hometown: Hyattsville, MD

Three Alabama offensive lineman were drafted a couple weeks ago. And none of them played the all important left tackle position for the Tide. Kouandjio was a very high recruit who has delivered on that promise, manning AJ McCarron's blind side as a true sophomore. If he builds on that success without the help of Fluker, Warmack and company, he should be a very high pick if he declares in 2014. He would rejoin Warmack as a part of Arizona's revamped line. There is a lot to like about a tackle trio of Kouandjio, Bobby Massie and Nate Potter.


10. St. Louis Rams
(from Washington Redskins)
LB CJ Mosley, Sr, Alabama
6'2, 232 lbs
Hometown: Theodore, AL
2012 Stats: 106 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INT

The Rams do not have a lot of immediate needs in the starting lineup. They could stand to improve at strong side linebacker over Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Mosley would have been a first round pick in 2013 and has the versatality and overall game to play in the middle or on the strong side. He is a great tackler, a good pass rusher and offers great leadership. How exciting would a linebacking trio of Mosley, James Laurinaitis and Alec Ogletree be?


11. Minnesota Vikings
WR Sammy Watkins, Jr, Clemson
6'1, 200 lbs
Hometown: Fort Myers, FL
2012 Stats: 57 receptions, 708 yards, 3 TD

Watkins struggled a bit following a monster freshman season, but part of that was due to the fact that by the time he came back from suspension Tajh Boyd had already developed some great chemistry with DeAndre Hopkins. Now Watkins is the big dog and will hope to regain that momentum that made him a sure fire first round pick. The Vikings missed out on CJ Mosley, who would have been a great fit, so they add another weapon for Christian Ponder and someone who is more ready to play then Cordarrelle Patterson.


12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DT Timmy Jernigan, Jr, Florida State
6'2, 298 lbs
Hometown: Lake City, FL
2012 Stats: 43 tackles, 1.5 sacks

Jernigan was a former top recruit who has had an excellent two seasons for the Seminoles. His stats don't show the whole story, he is a good pass rusher and lived in the opponents back field, racking up 8 tackles for loss. Classic, 3 technique tackles are a dying breed, but Jernigan should be a great fit next to Gerald McCoy in the middle for Tampa Bay.


13. Indianapolis Colts
DT Louis Nix, Sr, Notre Dame
6'3, 326 lbs
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

The Colts spent a lot of free agent money on defense, but hasn't been able to add any real game changers. Nix would be a great fit as nose tackle for the Colts 3-4 defense. He is big, stout and a strong run defender but is the rare nose tackle that is quick enough to stay on the field for passing downs.


14. Tennessee Titans
CB Bradley Roby, Sr, Ohio State
5'11, 190 lbs
Hometown: Suwanee, GA
2012 Stats: 62 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INT

The Titans focused on offense this season, so they could go to the defensive side of the ball in 2014. Bradley Roby is considered the consensious top corner available right now. He does not have the size to be picked as high as the recent SEC cornerbacks, but no one was as valuable to their team last year. Roby is a great tackler and while he only had two interceptions, he broke up 19 passes.


15. Detroit Lions
OT Antonio Richardson, Jr, Tennessee
6'6, 332 lbs
Hometown: Nashville, TN

The Lions had more needs then draft picks, so there was bound to be holes after the draft. Detroit was not in position to add a starting left tackle, but fortunately for them, this class looks extremely deep at the position. Richardson was talented enough as a sophomore to kick Dallas Thomas inside and move Ja'Wuan James to the right side. He is still a work in progress but has the look and feel of a prototypical left tackle.


16. Kansas City Chiefs
DE Stephon Tuitt, Jr, Notre Dame
6'6, 305 lbs
Hometown: Monroe, GA
2012 Stats: 47 tackles, 12 sacks

Tyson Jackson's merciless contract finally comes to an end after the season, meaning the Chiefs will be on the lookout for two ends. Tuitt is pretty much the opposite of Jackson. He is big and a good pass rusher but struggles with effort and the run game at times. His size and ability to get after the quarterback is intriguing, and with more consistency, he could easily be a top ten pick.


17. Miami Dolphins
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jr, Washington
6'6, 266 lbs
Hometown: Fox Island, WA
2012 Stats: 69 receptions, 852 yards, 7 TD

If Seferian-Jenkins wasn't such a knucklehead, I would have had him in my top ten in this mock. Perhaps as high as number six to the Browns. He is a fantastic athlete. In addition to being one of the biggest matchup nightmares on offense in the nation, he also saw snaps at defensive end and even had a place on the Washington basketball team. Unfortunately he was busted for a DUI that puts his 2013 season in doubt. That could cause him to slide in the rankings, but he is so talented I do not see any way he falls out of the top twenty. A team like the Dolphins who are willing to gamble could have themselves the next Tony Gonzalez.


18. Chicago Bears
CB Aaron Colvin, Sr, Oklahoma
6'0, 181 lbs
Hometown: Owasoo, OK
2012 Stats: 62 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 INT

Colvin had a good junior season, and made the wise decision to return to Oklahoma for his senior year, and could wind up as a first round as a result. He has good size, and is a good tackler who can pick off some passes. The Bears have two of the best cornerbacks in the NFL in Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, but both will be over 30 years of age and free agents heading into the 2014 off season. They will be expensive to keep.


19. Dallas Cowboys
S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, Jr, Alabama
6'1, 209 lbs
Hometown: Orlando, FL
2012 Stats: 37 tackles, 4 INT

Clinton-Dix was a very highly rated recruit, and could be the latest in what has become an assembly line to the NFL at the safety position (and every other position) for Alabama. He is a ball hawk who ended the season with interceptions in his last three games. The Cowboys drafted JJ Wilcox in the first round and would have a very nice safety duo with Clinton-Dix joining him.


20. St. Louis Rams
OG/OT David Yankey, Sr, Stanford
6'5, 301 lbs
Hometown: Roswell, GA

Rodger Saffold is disgruntled for the simple fact that right tackles get paid a lot less then left tackles. Look at guys like Eric Winston and Andre Smith during this free agent season. He will be a free agent after the 2013 season, and the Rams may be in need of a replacement. Yankey lacks the strength to play on the left side but is a very smart offensive lineman. If he can't make it at tackle, he would kick inside to guard and give the Rams a very good interior blocker.


21. Atlanta Falcons
DE Aaron Lynch, So, South Florida
6'6, 262 lbs
Hometown: Cape Coral, FL

Aaron Lynch was a high recruit who exploded on the scene with 5.5 sacks as a true freshman for Notre Dame in 2011. He decided to transfer and will return to the field in 2013. He has great size and speed to be a tremendous pass rusher. If he improves on that Irish season after a year off, he will shoot up the board. The Falcons signed Osi Unimyora to replace John Abraham, but he is nothing more then a stop gap solution.


22. New Orleans Saints
DE/OLB Adrian Hubbard, Jr, Alabama
6'6, 248 lbs
Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA
2012 Stats: 41 tackles, 7 sacks

Yet another Alabama player comes off the board. I guess we know why they win the title every year, huh? Hubbard is a freak of an athlete with great size. He had 7 sacks last year and should greatly improve those numbers with no snaps. He has been called out by Nick Saban for inconsistent play at times, but that is not uncommon for freshman and sophomores. The Saints were not able to add a strong pass rusher in the 2013 NFL Draft, but they do not make that mistake twice.


23. Houston Texans
QB AJ McCarron, Sr, Alabama
6'4, 210 lbs
Hometown: Mobile, AL
2012 Stats: 211-314, 2933 yards, 30 TD, 3 INT

Lost in the Crimson Tide's dominating run has been the steadying influence of AJ McCarron. McCarron is more then a glorified game manager and is a legit NFL prospect. He has a ton of experience, has a good arm, and has only thrown eight interceptions in two years. He is not dissimilar to Matt Schaub, the player he will replace in Houston. Schaub has had a good run in Houston but he is nearing his mid 30's and could be gone in a year or two.


24. Pittsburgh Steelers
CB Jason Verrett, Sr, TCU
5'10, 180 lbs
Hometown: Fairfield, CA
2012 Stats: 59 tackles, 6 INT

The Steelers like bigger cornerbacks but the 5'10 Verrett has the talent to make an impact, at least as a slot corner. He had a good season as the Horned Frogs moved to a bigger conference and faced tougher competition. Verrett excels in man to man coverage and picks off his fair share of balls.


25. Cincinnati Bengals
CB Loucheiz Purifoy, Jr, Florida
6'1, 189 lbs
Hometown: Pensacola, FL
2012 Stats: 51 tackles

The Bengals have done such a good job of hitting on high potential prospects in the draft, which they sort of have to do since Mike Brown is the cheapest owner in the NFL and refuses to spend any of his cap space. Purifoy is the equivalent of an ATH recruit in college in that he plays some cornerback and some receiver. His NFL position is probably conerback. He should make an instant impact as a kick returner and would eventually work his way into a good third cornerback behind Leon Hall and Dre Kirkpatrick.


26. Baltimore Ravens
OT Ja'Wuan James, Sr, Tennessee
6'6, 323 lbs
Hometown: Suwanee, GA

Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews received all the hype as the best tackle duo in the nation, but the Tennessee bookends were not far behind. Antonio Richardson has the chance to be a very high draft choice, but don't count out James, who would be the best tackle on most SEC teams. He has good size and the athleticism to play on the left side in the NFL. Bryant McKinnie has somehow managed to stick around as Baltimore's starting left tackle, the Ravens would love to draft a young replacement.


27. Seattle Seahawks
DE Morgan Breslin, Sr, Southern California
6'2, 250 lbs
Hometown; Walnut Creek, CA
2012 Stats: 62 tackles, 13 sacks

Breslin is an undersized but explosive pass rusher that was among the nation's leaders in sacks as a junior. Like Bruce Irvin, he can come in on passing downs to get to the quarterbacks. The Seahawks are a pretty deep team and if they add Breslin would have an embarrassment of riches at the pass rush.


28. New York Giants
DT Anthony Johnson, Jr, LSU
6'3, 310 lbs
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
2012 Stats: 30 tackles, 3 sacks

With the Tigers losing their other three starting defensive lineman, Johnson has an opportunity to shine. He was inconsistent as a sophomore but has shown plenty of flashes his two years in Louisiana. He has the size and talent to end the year in the top ten. The Giants are always on the lookout for new recruits to fortify the defensive line.


29. New England Patriots
WR Jordan Matthews, Sr, Vanderbilt
6'3, 205 lbs
Hometown: Madison, AL
2012 Stats: 94 receptions, 1323 yards, 5 TD

Danny Amendola and Michael Jenkins. Those are the two wide receivers that are expected to open the season as starters for the Patriots. New England used a couple more middle round picks on the position, and hopefully for Patriots fans those players will be better then the countless wideout busts under the Bill Belichick regime. New England might want to invest in a first rounder at the position one of these years. Matthews has very good size and was super productive for a Vanderbilt team that caught fire the second half of the season.

30. Green Bay Packers
OLB Kyle Van Noy, Sr, BYU
6'3, 235 lbs
Hometown: Reno, NV
2012 Stats: 51 tackles, 13 sacks, 2 INT

While Ezekiel Ansah received all the headlines for the BYU defense, it was Kyle Van Noy who was the most productive. Look no further then the bowl game against San Diego State. Van Noy had 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown. If he can pack on some more weight and learn to hold up better against the run, he could wind up being a top ten pick by the time the draft rolls around. He would provide solid pass rushing skills to a 3-4 team like the Packers.

31. Denver Broncos
RB Lache Seastrunk, Jr, Baylor
5'10, 205 lbs
Hometown: Temple, TX
2012 Stats: 131 rushes, 1012 yards, 7 TD

The Broncos drafted Montee Ball in 2012 to be their feature back, but I just do not think that he will be very good. So Denver tries again here. This draft could have a few explosive running backs, but all have their fair share of issues they need to work out. Seastrunk has good speed and vision, but is not that much of a factor in the passing game. Guys like Ka'Deem Carey and D'Anthony Thomas are other fringe first round options at running back.

32. San Francisco 49ers
CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Jr, Oregon
5'10, 190 lbs
Hometown: Chino Hills, CA
2012 Stats: 59 tackles, 4 INT

The Niners are as deep as any team in the NFL, but there are some spots that are aging and could use some young players to develop. Cornerback is one of those positions. Ekpre-Olomu is a bit undersized, but is very athletic and had four interceptions last year. He could be worked in slowly behind Carlos Rogers.


Jonathan Carrano

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